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I promised

The Old Courtesan

(La Belle qui

fut heaulmière)

Auguste Rodin.

I promised I would never

choose flat shoes or

elastic-waisted trousers or

anything made in Crimplene.

I would never

be interested in talking for hours

about ailments and surgery

want to stay home

and not go out at night.

I promised I would never smile

about ancient tv shows,

music from the sixties and seventies

The L-shaped Room, A Kind of Loving,

how things were, without remembering

how far too many things weren’t.

I’d never

wish to be a child again,

or a teenager, or at school.

I'd never

live to be too old.

I think I still know, and don’t know

how there’s layers

and layers of time.

Silt and sky,

land and water,

rivers, clouds.

The same sun,


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